Aftershock (2010) – REVIEW

by Jordache Wee

Original Mandarin Title: 唐山大地震
Release Date: July 22, 2010 
Directed by: Feng Xiaogang
Language: Mandarin
Music by: Wang Li-Guang
Starring: Zhang Jingchu, Chen Daoming, Lu Yi, Xu Fan, Zhang Guoqiang, Li Chen, Zhang Zi-feng, Wang Ziwen, Yang Lixin, Yong Mei, Chen Jin

An ordinary family living among the thousands. One night, a massive earthquake tremors the whole streets and buildings. Everything and everyone just fell and perish with the rubble and debris.

The husband prevents the wife from saving their children, Fang Deng (Zhang Zifeng)and Fang Da (Zhang Jiajun). Only to be crushed by pillars of bricks.

Yuan Ni (Xu Fan) searching for her children: Fang Deng and Fang Da

Both Fang Deng and Fang Da were found under a slab of rubble. The mother, Yuan Ni (Xu Fan) – was given a choice to decide whom she must save and the other will remain dead due to the complication of the rubble. Yuan Ni chose her son, Fang Da.

Fang Deng was presumed dead as she laid lying beside her father’s corpse. Only to realise that she is actually alive. Adopted by a married couple who served the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).

Fang Da lives with his mother. Despite of his disability of missing his left arm during the Tangshan 1976 – he managed to survive on his own.

Fang Deng (Zhang Zifeng) being adopted by military parents

However, Fang Deng tries to forget the past and start anew with her adopted parents (Chen Dao Ming). Yet, her nightmares still haunts her. Her name changed from Fang Deng to Ya Ya.

Teenage Fang Da (Li Chen) sought for a new life as he hope to bring good life for his mother.

Fang Deng (Zhang Jingchu)

While Fang Deng (Zhang Jingchu) was involved with pre-marital intercourse and decided to raise her child on her own because her boyfriend does not want to be involved. She was only 21.

Many years later, both siblings reunited when they joined the Tangshan Rescue Team in 2006, trying to save as many lives as possible.

Finally, Fang Deng was united with her mother and brother.

Reviewer’s Note:
Based on The Great Tangshan Earthquake which happen in 1976 with 7.8 magnitude causing an estimate 250,000 casualties. 

This film sets a story of a real life situation when the natural disaster occurs. What if you can only save one child? There are many questions for audiences to ponder about.

It’s more like “What will you do if you are only given one option?”

And what happen if your other child is still alive and hated you making a choice.  It’s a very moving and touching film. Very emotional but as an audience putting your shoes into their is a very heavy burden you will have to chain yourself to.


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